If you're looking for a great mountain bike loop around Coniston then why not let local MTB nut Katie Edwards guide you round one of the best MTB routes in this part of the Lakes. Katie regularly rides some of the best single track and MTB trails in the Lake District and this route won't disappoint.
This is a significant off-road route covering around 32km (20miles) with approximately 760m of climbing (2,500ft) so be prepared to spend some time enjoying it!
An Off-Road Cycling Adventure from Coniston
This is a fairly challenging MTB route with a fantastic range of steady climbing, techy climbing, moorland singletrack, forest MTB trails near Grizedale Forets, swoopy corners and classic techy Lake District descents. The views are simply stunning as you'd expect from a route in the Lake District.
If you've parked at Blawith you can stop around half way through for refreshments in Coniston - the Bluebird cafe is a short diversion from the route. If you're riding from Coniston the Yewdale Inn is a great spot for some post-ride pub food. If you've traveled from the South, there's the option to stop at Bakehoue Born & Bread in Greenodd (south of Coniston Water) for their bakery and incredible cake choices after cycling around Coniston - you'll be passing anyway!
The Route Instructions
The instructions start from Blawith at the southern end of Coniston which has some nice trails nearby. If you're riding this off road cycling route from Coniston then pick up the instructions from point 9.
1) Head north from Blawith Church along the main A5084 road to Water Yeat before turning right, following the lane across a quaint bridge and then turning left again onto the East of Lake road.
2) Turn right by a classic red phone box away from the East of Lake minor road, climbing up Nibthwaite.
3) Follow the track passed the off grid Low Parkamoor farmhouse and onto open moorland over Parkamoor with fantastic views over Coniston water with the Coniston range in the background.
4) Continue following the track into Grizedale Forest and join the easy going forest roads continuing straight on here.
5) Continue passed the junction on the left to a Bridelway leaving the forest road on the left hand side.
6) Continue straight on at Lawsons Park to follow the sweeping descent through wooded sections above Brantwood House before emerging back onto the East of the Lake road and turning right.
7) Descend the lane, taking a left at the junction and joining the main Coniston road - follow this into the centre of Coniston.
8) Pass the Yewdale Inn on your right (or stop in for a drink) and over the bridge bearing left. Pass the petrol station and at the crossroads take a right up Station Lane.
9) Climb steeply at first, following the road left and then take a right and continue uphill as you start to ride from Coniston. You will also pass the entrance to Old Station Car Park where you can park to ride from Coniston.
10) Follow the lane until the tarmac runs out and it turns into an off road cycling track near Coniston old man. There is more parking here which many people use to climb the Old Man but it can get busy.
11) Follow the Walna Scar Road, eventually you’ll see a footpath on your right that leads to Goats Water, pass this and take the next left turn towards Banishead Quarry which can be worth a stop to admire the view. The track crosses a stream and descends down towards Torver.
12) The track eventually returns to tarmac with a sharp corner by Scarr Head campsite. Turn right on the main A593 road and follow it through Torver along a straight flat road - watch out for fast moving traffic.
13) Turn left off the A road and enjoy a flat section of tarmac along the valley before the lane runs out and another great off road section begins.
14) Eventually the track reverts to tarmac but whilst passing through an area of woodland watch out for the sharp left turn back on yourself onto a track.
15) Follow this track up through the woodland and when you cross the stream at Green Moor turn right to traverse round the hill on the open fell side trail.
16) Turn left back on yourself again, crossing a ford and continuing to climb the fellside.
17) Take the time to enjoy the views at the summit before following the bridle track as you descend back towards Blawith. The track becomes a concrete track and then a tarmac lane. Keep left at the junction of lanes, crossing a cattle grid and descend the final part of the lane to return to Blawith.